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Two struggling teams will both try to get right here as the Los Angeles Angels host the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both teams have more or less slipped out of the playoff races in their respective leagues, so this one is for pride. Trevor Williams will start for Pittsburgh here, while Griffin Canning takes the mound for Los Angeles. Oddsmakers have the Angels as sizable favorites here.
I don’t ever want to root for anybody’s downfall, but it has been somewhat satisfying to see the Pirates collapse like this. I was telling just about anyone who would listen earlier this season that Pittsburgh was fraudulent, and now I’ve been vindicated. They were getting extremely lucky early on, racking up wins despite having a terrible run differential. That’s all come to an end the past couple of months, and they’re just 2-18 in their last 20 games. The Pirates aren’t going anywhere in 2019, and Clint Hurdle’s seat is starting to heat up. They’ve looked like the worst team in the majors the past few weeks, and they’re just 7-24 in their last 31 road games.
They’ll start Trevor Williams here, who has been having a rough year. He enters with a 5.06 ERA, and he gave up six earned runs in his most recent start. In four July starts he had a 6.26 ERA, and it was 8.49 in June. Not surprisingly, the Pirates are 1-4 in Williams’ last five outings. The real problem with this Pirates team is the offense. They have Josh Bell, but not much pop besides him when he isn’t hitting. Bell got off to a red hot start this season, but like the rest of the team, he’s been declining ever since. He can’t carry the whole team, and someone else needs to step up down the stretch here. In four of their last five games, the Pirates have scored three or fewer runs.
Angels Also Struggling
Not unlike the Pirates, the Angels have also been struggling recently. That being said, they haven’t been nearly as bad. They looked like they were making a charge toward a playoff run right before the All-Star break, but they’ve collapsed the past couple of weeks, going 2-8 in their last ten games entering Monday. The Angels are only three games under .500, so they could still salvage something from this season if they get things figured out quickly. As they attempt to do so, they’ll have rookie Griffin Canning on the mound here. Canning is making his return after a brief stint on the injured list with a minor elbow injury.
— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) August 6, 2019
Canning, like most rookies who are only 23, has been up and down. He has a 4.76 ERA but he was really good in his most recent start, tossing six shutout innings. Like youngsters often are, he’s also been a lot better at home this year. The Angels have won each of his last four home starts, and they’re 4-1 in his last five home starts overall. The Angels seem to do quite well in interleague play, as they’re 24-8 in their last 32 interleague home games. This Angels offense is a bit underrated, and they don’t get the credit they deserve. They’re tenth in the league in runs scored this season, but people still talk about their lineup like it’s a below average unit.
- 24-8 in their last 32 interleague home games
- 4-1 in Canning’s last 5 starts
- 4-0 in Canning’s last 4 home starts
- 1-4 in Williams’ last 5 starts
- 2-18 in their last 20 overall
- 7-24 in their last 31 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Angels at home here, and this price isn’t as steep as it seems. The Pirates are just 2-18 in their last 20 games and with no end in sight to this stretch if incompetence, there’s no way you can back them on the road. Williams has been awful recently, and the Angels have won each of Canning’s last four home starts. Los Angeles is still hovering around .500 while the Pirates have completely tanked, and I expect an easy win here.
Prediction: Angels -160
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the over even more in this spot. I think both pitchers will struggle, and we’ll see a lot of action here. Williams has an ERA over five and is having the worst year of his career, and the over is 9-4 in Pittsburgh’s last 13 games. Canning has been mediocre at best and is coming off the injured list here, so he could be rusty. The Angels likely won’t let him go too deep here even if he’s pitching well, and I see a lot of scoring here.